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Thread: Anger as editor tells Motability-users to ‘hang heads in shame’ after London 2012

  1. #1
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    Angry Anger as editor tells Motability-users to ‘hang heads in shame’ after London 2012

    The editor of a local newspaper has angered disability hate crime campaigners by telling users of Motability vehicles that they should “hang their heads in shame” in comparison with medal-winning Paralympians.

    Two editorials written in consecutive weeks by Toby Hines, owner and editor of the weekly Helston News and Advertiser in Cornwall, are the first examples seen by Disability News Service (DNS) of public figures using the exploits of Paralympians to attack disabled benefit claimants.

    In an editorial on 4 September, Hines attacked “fake disabled” people, who he says have “a Motability car, blue badge, extra £100 per week of benefits, got a limp or mahoosive (sic) fat gut”.

    He said such “fake” disabled people “do not work or contribute to society one iota and just sponge and bitch all day while sitting at home eating cream cakes watching Loose Women”, and compared them with Paralympians, who were “genuine people with some bad disabilities but not giving into them and actually trying to overcome them”.
    Hines, who has a disabled son, added: “You can tell someone has a real disability as they deny it.”

    In the second editorial, this week, he praised former racing driver Alex Zanardi, who won a Paralympic hand-cycling gold medal last week, and added: “Fascinating comparison to the people I see climbing out of motability (sic) cars in town and at Tesco who should hang their heads in shame.”

    Steve Paget, chair of Disability Cornwall, said his organisation had complained several years ago to Hines about his “vitriolic and misinformed” editorials.

    He said: “Having an understanding of one disability, whether yours or your child’s, does not give you a deeper insight into other conditions, so it would be interesting to know how Mr Hines feels he can spot what he terms a ‘faker’?
    “In all the years that Disability Cornwall have been working with local disabled people, we can only ever recall one solitary case where it was felt the person we were advising may have had a somewhat dubious claim for a disability benefit.”
    He added: “The next edition of our lifestyle magazine, Discover, features the alarming fact that hate crimes against disabled people are soaring across the country.

    “Ill-judged comments such as that peddled by Mr Hines is just the sort of misinformed hysterical rhetoric we never need to see in print. A retraction is the very least Mr Hines should now be considering.”

    Katharine Quarmby, a coordinator of the Disability Hate Crime Network and author of Scapegoat, a ground-breaking investigation into disability hate crime, said it was “extremely worrying” to read the two editorials.

    She said: “Journalists should understand that they have a responsibility to report stories without sensation and with context – for example, pointing out that the levels for disability benefit fraud are extremely low.
    “I am worried that such reporting could incite violence against disabled people and I would encourage this journalist to refrain from making claims about fraudulent claimants he cannot substantiate...”

    Hines told DNS he was “quite notorious” for having a low tolerance of “false claimants”, but said he should have made it clear these were the people he was attacking in his second article.

    He confirmed that he was not medically qualified, and accepted that many people with Motability vehicles had jobs.
    When asked whether he was aware that many Paralympians also have Motability vehicles, he said: “I have no problem with anyone with a disability who takes what they are entitled to.

    “I would be angry with people who swing the lead, exaggerate the situation, take benefits where they are probably not quite entitled or not entitled to, but then cast doubt or make it difficult for people with genuine situations.”

    He said he would be “very careful not to repeat” his comment about people with Motability cars having to “hang their heads in shame”, which he said was “a mistake” that he would correct in the next edition of his newspaper.
    He added: “Obviously, any Paralympian isn’t [in] a fake situation. They are a genuine illness person.”
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  2. #2
    This is indeed an interesting read.
    He said such “fake” disabled people “do not work or contribute to society one iota and just sponge and bitch all day while sitting at home eating cream cakes watching Loose Women”,
    I think that part is true but what percentage of claimants are "fake"?

    People do not realise that genuine disabled people who have a car on the Motability Scheme have to pay for that vehicle through their benefit for DLA and only those on the higher rate qualify for a vehicle through the Motability Scheme. It is not FREE as most people think.

    The people who should ‘hang heads in shame’ are those people who park in spaces designated for blue badge holders who do not themselves have a blue badge and are able bodied.
    The other group are those who borrow "grandad's" blue badge so to get free parking or to park in the designated bays.

  3. #3
    i would rather be fit and well,than recieve any benefits,but my accident and poor health forced my situation......believe me...ITS NOT BY CHOICE,they are trying to destroy our moral fibre with reporting like this......you got that right stephen1959....that is a pet hate of mine,people abusing disabled parking ,remember john terry of chelsea football club...he said he parked in a disabled parking bay as he didnt want his children to miss a party in a fast food restaurant ,thats how much disabled people mean to some

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    I recentely tried to complain about an editors article in our local rag but got no where. The editor felt that he is within his right to publish his opinion in his paper and he was not concerned about the impact it may have on those he considered "worthless".
    Even the DWP figures put fraud at less than 0.5% of claims, yet due to the media the general public rate it at 60-80%.

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    Hines is ill-informed and comes across as a bit of a moron.

  6. #6
    Damn those Paralympians! I knew they'd cause nothing but trouble for the rest of us!I'm going to accost every non-disabled person I see in the street and say "Didn't see you in the Olympics you malingerer!And you with 2 good legs ,2 good arms ,2 good eyes and 2 good ears.What kind of a useless waste of space are you?How many marathons have you run in then, you complete and utter lazy bastard!"

  7. #7
    Senior Member Stig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaicee58 View Post
    Damn those Paralympians! I knew they'd cause nothing but trouble for the rest of us!I'm going to accost every non-disabled person I see in the street and say "Didn't see you in the Olympics you malingerer!And you with 2 good legs ,2 good arms ,2 good eyes and 2 good ears.What kind of a useless waste of space are you?How many marathons have you run in then, you complete and utter lazy bastard!"
    Just say

    " Spend a day or 2 in my shoes" wack em across the knees with your crutches or walking sticks .Even better run em over with an electric scooter/buggy

  8. #8
    Member williej's Avatar
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    The amount of us that would wish we were in health and to be able to work will far out rule all this rubbish that these morons gab about.
    I did not wish for a vehicle to fall on me at work and leave me this way then to have a heart attack then to be on insulin for type 2 diabetes chronic pain.....etc the list goes on.I do wish sometimes these people could experience a day like us to see how life is for us.
    Williej
    WillieJ

  9. #9
    hi williej,sorry to hear of your poor health....i have type 2 diabetes...and have lost good circulation in my feet and its now creeping up my legs...the pain at times is unbearable and i wondered if you have any tips with coping...take care

  10. #10
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    Whilst I'm not suggesting for one second that posters on this site are claiming benefits fraudulently, unfortunately the news paper man is probably right. Look at the many people who have been caught fraudulently claiming benefits in the last year or two, some for over £100,000.00 for claiming housing allowance, then there was the man who couldn't walk more than 10 meters with out debilitating pain, was caught and filmed refereeing 2 lower league football matches a week!! And the lists goes on. A man claiming DLA, due to back pain, was found and filmed working as a tiler, running up and down ladders and roofs with packs of tiles on his shoulder! Add into the mix a brand new car with road tax & insurance all free (as the public perceive it), changed every 3 years, It's little wonder that some of general public view disabled people with suspicion, because it is the working public, that in the main, are paying for likes of us to have our benefits. Regards, John.
    Last edited by jdb2270; 26-09-12 at 15:09. Reason: Fat finger syndrom!

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